HSE has been vigorously promoting interventions where workplace causation is in doubt. This choice may cause HSE some difficulty meetings its agreed targets. One solution would be to accept that causation was rather too easily being assigned.
D Coggon. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. November (2001) Vol.58 # 11 p 691.
HSE activity on occupational health has been challenged by the setting of targets to be met within 5 and 10 years (from 2000). However, the actual targets and baselines have caused considerable debate. This paper brings some of the more scientific arguments into the open, they illustrate the difficulties HSE have in deciding what an occupational disease is.
Revitalising H&S set targets: “a 20% reduction in the incidence of work related ill health to be achieved by the year 2010”. Considerable doubt remains about the definition and measurement of current levels and what proportion of these really can be eliminated by better practice.
[Andrew Auty’s advice to HSE (in 2000) was to exclude long tail disease (anything over 3 years), any WR disorder
where the attributable risk was less than 50% and those diseases with more than 2 potentially causal exposures from the targets.]
Dr. Coggan asks: